Make your bed

January 6, 2021 Wednesday 0630 – 0715
Who- Photo Finish (Q), ScarU, Dick Clark (aka Dick Tracy), Mulligan, FNG Diamond Beach, Mountie, Red Card, Dos Equis, Brisket and Black Hole in the Zoom.

Theme: Admiral William McRaven, United States Navy SEAL

Music: Sousa marches

0630: Introduction


Good morning. You are all familiar with our disclaimer: We are here voluntarily. We are here for the three F’s: Fitness, Fellowship and Faith. As Q I will lead the exercises, but I am not a professional. Each of us assumes liability of our own actions; accordingly, you must modify as necessary to maintain safety. If you are unfamiliar with modifications, look my way. Signal your acceptance for this liability with an “Aye”.


Our theme this morning focuses on the career of William H. McRaven, Admiral, United States Navy. He is a remarkable man; a remarkable naval officer; and a remarkable role model. Each of us should have a role model to help guide us in our daily lives. Admiral McRaven will help guide us this morning during our F3 workout.



In high school McRaven was trying to break the mile time. He came close but kicked too soon and was passed. A coach from another school called him and said, “You can do this. Just run hard.” He was surprised by this call but stimulated to try even harder. Next and final race: he did win, collapsing out of breath at the finish. He knew at that moment that he could accomplish anything he set his mind out to. 

Each of us need to grasp and integrate that thought in our daily lives.

He could become a SEAL. We know that we can accomplish (fill in the blank).

Exercises – For the warm-ups: NO Burpees!

Arm Circles; Circle Arms; Body Weight squats; Jumping Jacks; jog in place (lift knees high); Merkins (up to 50 and above if possible). I’ll count: 1, 2, 3…. 

Let’s assemble at the Coliseum: Mosey, Run or walk. 

But before we head out, we should recognize admiral McRaven’s book, “Make your bed.” In training, the first thing they had to do was make their bed. Not just casually, but precisely. Ever morning. Each bed was inspected. The Instructors tried to find fault. If nothing else, “Make your bed” in the morning. You will have accomplished something each day. Okay let’s mosey.



Throughout his SEAL Training, McRaven realized that he must concentrate only on the task at hand. Don’t think about the two weeks ahead of cold, no sleep, exhaustion. Just get though the evolution at hand. Gentlemen don’t think you have 45 minutes to go in the cold or the rain; just think about the task at hand. Listen to Q and put all other thoughts out of your head.

Exercises – You want to challenge each muscle group. That is how we improve. No Burpees here!

  1. Step ups. Left/Right until the burn says just one more. Count to self and shout out when you conquer the burn. Up/Down; Up/Down
  2. Triceps dips count 1,2,3 ONE to twenty of until the burn says, “just one more.”
  3. Incline pushups against “step.” Goal: 50. Keep count; shout out 10; 20; 30; 40; 50; 60… (this is to generate competition among the PAX)
  4. Leg lifts from prone position: 25 OYO. Shout out each 10. Goal: 25 or 35 or 45. No Burpees!
  5. Mosey to the Green Helmet. “Take that Hill” as a Marine! Five times up; ten pushups; jog down; ten push-ups. Repeat for five times. When complete, mosey to the Pavilion. Once there, Plank until the rest of us catch up. Modify the distance; that is, cut to the hill so that you can keep with the PAX.
  6. On your sixes, we are going to do a set of ab workouts (but no Burpees!). Each of us has had some obstacles to overcome. Brisket is recovering from a carotid dissection. Think about your own challenges and how you prevailed. Admiral McRaven had his own: He was sky diving with his men when he slammed into a parachute that had already been deployed. He tumbled; He got twisted up in the parachute chords; His legs were tangled and could not be freed. No choice, he had to open his chute, knowing what was about to happen: When the chute opened his legs were snapped apart; his pelvis separated; all the muscles ripped from the bone; his scream was heard in Mexico. A young savant surgeon screwed a plate into his pelvis. And he started his recovery. Navy procedures required his commander to submit his medical condition to a review board to determine if he could remain in the program. McRaven wanted to stay and asked for some consideration. “If you can attend you change of command on crutches, we’ll see.” He did; those papers never made it to the Board. He fully recovered and went on with his career. Give thanks to those who have helped you overcome adversity.
  7. Boat/Canoe… If I can do it so can you. Till it burns!
  8. Leg lifts till it burns
  9. Big Boy Sit ups… till it burns
  10. Since we’ve recovered from the warmup Merkins, let’s revisit them. I’ll count 1,2,3… goal 50 or above.
  11. Note, we still have NOT done any Burpees. 
  12. Mosey to the upper parking lot. Sometimes we have to make decisions that cause disruptions but that, in the long run, are prudent. When the shoe bomber was apprehended, McRaven thought the amount of explosive in his heel as insufficient to bring a plane down. He wasn’t the explosives expert, however, and he asked an associate who was. The answer: sufficient. And who knew how many other potential shoe bombers there were. The Result? McRaven said we need to have travelers take off their shoes. He does apologize as he thought it would be for just for a few weeks.  In our own lives, don’t shy away from making decisions that may cause temporary disruptions to family or friends but that need to be made.
  13. Time for some side straddle Hopkins. Aim for 20 and then see if you can do just one more. If you can, how about one more? Remember, focus just on this exercise. You can do it.
  14. Finally, who thinks he know the final exercise? You guessed it: the dreaded Burpee. I’ll try for three good ones with good form. You can set the goal for three, five or 10 Burpees. When you reach that goal, see if you can do just one more.
  15. During the Hell Week for the SEAL recruits, they were wet, cold, exhausted. They rolled in the sand to become sugar bunnies. The sand chaffed. It was very trying. All they had to do was ring the bell three times and they were relieved of all that pain. They also would never become SEALs. “Don’t ring the bell!” was the motto. The instructors, however, wanted to weed out those who couldn’t measure up and kept reminding the recruits that all they had to do was ring that bell. My friend, Tim Dring has spoken to a number of SEALS. He says they weren’t exceptionally big or strong. What separates a SEAL from a “regular” guy is their mental toughness. They keep their eye on the ball and refuse to ring the bell. Each of us have tasks in front of us. At Work; At Home; At F3. Don’t ring the bell!
  16. Let’s mosey to the Flag. (at the flag): I was at a meeting in Paris on 9/11/01. In the midst of the meeting the other American suddenly stood up and exclaimed that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. Turns out Osama bin Laden orchestrated this terrorist attack. From that day we tried finding him. Can you tell me who finally took bin Laden down? Yes, Admiral William McRaven. He rehearsed the evolution multiply times before he told President Obama the operation was feasible. Even so, we lost a 60-million-dollar helicopter during the assault. When the presumed body of bin Laden was brought back, the President asked if he was sure it was the terrorist leader. McRaven knew bin Laden was 6 foot 4 inches. He asked one of the SEALs how tall he was. 6 foot 2 inches. “Lie down beside him” Huh?? Clearly about two inches taller. “Yes, it is bin Laden.” President Obama then said, “You mean to tell me you can lose a $60,000,000 helicopter but can’t spend $10 for a steel measuring tape?” The lesson here is to rehearse important moves; don’t go blindly into them thinking it will all work out. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. That helicopter loss was the result of not making the mockup for their rehearsals sufficiently accurate to the actual building structure.

0710: With that lets execute the Count-o-Rama.

Count-O-Rama – Nama-O-Rama – FNG Welcome and Naming – Announcements

Circle of Trust

Let us meditate.

We have shared some of the remarkable accomplishments of William McRaven, Admiral, United States Navy. Admiral McRaven and I started out in exactly the same spot: college Naval ROTC students (Reserve Officer Training Corps). But that is where the similarity ends. McRaven graduated first in his class; …I did not. He went on to show leadership, toughness, and intelligence that led to his wearing four stars. Those stars reflect the top of the top.

We may compare our accomplishments with those of the Admiral or of other exceptional people: People such as Beethoven, Michael Jordan, Einstein. Don’t do that. Acknowledge and praise, but don’t compare. We don’t trail the Admiral. In key areas, we are his equal. He kept physical fit; we keep physically fit; He “made his bed” each morning; we “make our bed” by way of F3 in the mornings; He worked hard to accomplish his tasks; we work hard. That our accomplishments don’t match those of the Admirals doesn’t detract from the important lessons he provides: Keep your eye on the ball; maintain ethical behavior; appreciate your family and friends; celebrate the miracle of life. And don’t ring the bell – that is, Don’t Give Up!

As we move forward in this new year, allow your “Word” to help guide your actions. “Organize,” “Study,” “Practice…” Those Four Stars are obtainable for each of us – for our humanity and in our everyday conduct.


-Photo Finish

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